Gary Sloper on the evolving role of DNS in building resilient infrastructure

The O’Reilly Podcast: Modern day DNS for hybrid cloud, intelligent traffic steering, and DevOps.

By Courtney Allen
February 27, 2018
Infrastructure Infrastructure (source: Pixabay)

Modern-day DNS goes beyond a simple internet “phone book” service to provide dynamic traffic management, flexibility, and performance. In this episode of the O’Reilly podcast, I had a chance to discuss modern-day DNS and its role in building resilient infrastructure with Gary Sloper, VP of global sales engineering at Oracle Dyn.

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Here are some highlights:

Greater flexibility and resilience in hybrid cloud environments using DNS

As organizations are trying to deliver their content closer to the edge—meaning their end users—they need to intelligently route traffic, and that can be achieved with DNS. In a hybrid cloud environment, DNS can provide flexibility by allow you to route between fixed assets, like a data center, and moveable assets, such as cloud. Within that hybrid strategy, you can utilize DNS, not only for the traditional aspects of what most people think of DNS as—essentially just resolving a query based on a request from a user—but taking advantage of DNS’s full capabilities to provide greater flexibilitly and resilency. DNS can make routing decisions and provide flexibility at the apex of the edge.

How DNS can improve infrastructure resilience

In modern operations, DNS allows you to have a global reach, and it provides additional infrastructure before traffic hits your core environment. For example, if a California location goes offline, you can build a policy to say California is undeliverable—don’t route traffic there. You could actually have two or three or four other policies based with DNS to fail over to other locations. So, if California is offline, you can simply route to other locations in the U.S., or if necessary abroad. You’d experience some latency, but you’re still not completely offline. That’s really important, especially from a failover standpoint. It also can help with load balancing and traffic steering.

You could also use DNS to route traffic away from your legacy data center if you’re working on maintenance or you’re aware that your cloud provider has a maintenance window and you want to steer traffic completely away from that node. Having that ability to take control at the DNS layer is really important.

Steering traffic with intelligent DNS for geographically customized content

Traffic steering is beneficial for a lot of verticals. If you’re a retail organization, you may want the customers on your sites browsing the catalog in California to see a different micro-site or a particular clothing line that looks different than customers would see in Massachusetts. California customers likely won’t be as interested in winter jackets and accessories because the temperature isn’t as cold there. But in Massachusetts, you may want those users to route local to a specific site, where that catalog looks different. You can do that with DNS based on geographic principles. That’s a huge advantage, not only for your IT network team, but also from a marketing standpoint. A lot of CMO organizations are evaluating their online presence and considering how to use that to their advantage. DNS, in this example, can allow you to resolve that traffic much faster, instead of all users routing to a specific set of nodes in the cloud or in your data center, and therefore taking longer to resolve that traffic.

This post is a collaboration between O’Reilly and Oracle Dyn. See our statement of editorial independence.

Post topics: Infrastructure